Preparing Your Insurer for Unauthorized Access to Data

It’s not a mark of shame to have your data breached; it happens to the biggest companies on earth – cyber-criminals have large amounts of resources to their name and spend a lot of money breaking into other people’s data. That means insurers need to examine their preparations for what should happen when their data is accessed without authorization while still taking every precaution to prevent such a breach in the first place.

Be Proactive

There are numerous tools that analyse the traffic that passes through a network; you need to ensure that you have the right people in place to examine these analytics and identify when a breach may be occurring. The earlier that you can identify an attack; the sooner that you can stop it. It’s not an easy task to identify suspicious behaviours but it must be done to minimize the impact of a breach in security.

Plan for the Day Disaster Strikes

It is vital that your IT team has a plan in place to handle any incidence of data breach. That means having a dedicated response team as soon as any event is detected. It means ensuring that your decision making hierarchy is clear and that the priority is to protect your data at such a time with other operational issues taking a back seat until the breach is sealed. You should also have a clear communication’s strategy in place; how are you going to inform the board, how will you protect your brand image, how are you going to tell anyone that their data has been affected and how will you let the wider world know what happened?

Test Your Plans

The best laid plans have a horrible habit of falling to pieces in an emergency. If you want to ensure that your plans are robust; you need to test them. You can run simulation exercises and find any weaknesses in the plans and fix them.

Keep Up to Date with Technology

A constant source of easy access to networks for hackers is companies that fail to implement manufacturer’s security patches. You want to make certain that you have a strong patch management strategy in place. You may also want to examine ways to beef up password security to prevent breach through employee logons.

In The Event of a Breach – Record Everything Happening on the Network

Those network analytics packages come in handy when a breach occurs too. You can use the data they generate to examine the event once you’ve sealed the breach. If you can identify the behaviours that led to the attack – you can watch for them in the future. If you can see how the attack operated; you can beef up safeguards on the areas of the network that hackers were trying to exploit.

Run a Security Driven Corporate Culture

Time and time again; it is human failures that make it easy for hackers to gain access to networks. It has been repeatedly demonstrated, for example, that people will often handover their work machine passwords in exchange for minor incentives (like a chocolate bar). If you make data security a fundamental part of the business culture you can prevent many of these easy points of entry for hackers.

That means developing training and a management culture that supports employees to make the best decisions when it comes to data security. This needs regular reinforcement – one off events aren’t going to make a long-term difference.


It’s unlikely that any company in the world of finance is going to remain untargeted by hackers over the coming years. Even the greatest level of security precautions can fail. It is as important to be prepared for a data breach as it is to attempt to prevent such a breach in the first place. A series of simple actions can make your data protection policies much more robust.


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